One path towards panoramic photography leads to the use of a swing lens film camera.
In my journey in photography using old cameras, i tend to own and use cameras judged at first by their look and feel.
The Ft-2 is the first panoramic camera i bought when i managed to find one that looked promising with its case, both film cassettes and in a price within my budget.
It was manufactured in the mighty KMZ factory in Krasnogorsk, a suburb of Moscow, in 1958.
The FT-2 uses special cassettes in which you must load the film. A camera without both cassettes is unusable, either you find a set to buy or try to built your own. I was lucky to find an extra set in a logical price. Proper loading and handle can result in 12 frames sizing 24 x 110mm on a 36 frame film.
The FT-2 is able to give great results. Just like most panoramic cameras it needs to be horizontally aligned to avoid distortion. The bubble on the top helps on that issue. With the FT-2 you try to imagine the frame since there is no usable viewfinder and the horizon is one of the key points towards a good result.
The FT-2 has an Industar-50 F5 that is set at hyper focal distance. Subjects closer than 10m will be out of focus. It has 3+1 shutter speeds. I say +1 cause it is not stated on the camera. The camera states according to the brake setting, speeds of 1/100, 1/200 and 1/400. There is a fourth setting of the brakes that is about 1/50.
These are just some words on the FT-2. Everything you need to know about it and about almost any old camera is available online. What you don’t know is if it suits you, if you are going to like using it.
It is the first swing lens panoramic camera i bought, it stuck in my head at first glance and it has been there since.